Price increase show discussion

Helvetica

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
I’m in for at least one more year, but I may be taking a break after 2020 depending on my experiences in the coming year. I knew the prices for Annual Passes were going up and to a certain extent I accept that so long as I’m getting a quality product, but the sticker shock of my Annual Pass renewal was a bit much. Normally I’d just pay and move on, but over $1k for one pass is pretty ridiculous. Especially when they’re making cuts and Magic Kingdom is closing early 8 times during my trip for special events during my October trip. I’m not sure if it’s worth it anymore.

I’m not much of a fan of the whole pay more for less thing. If they didn’t have as drastic of a price increase and if they didn’t add new resale restrictions to DVC, I’d be an owner at Rivera the day it went on sale. Now, I don’t know. I still love Disney, but maybe going 21 days a year isn’t something I should be doing. Maybe I should be going less and maybe I should be doing other things instead.
 

sallybrealey

Mouseketeer
Joined
Aug 31, 2000
Thank you for having this conversation as this is what I have been wondering. I have been coming to Orlando from the UK once 2001 and spent a year working in Orlando in 2005. I currently come twice a year. One of my family has a house in LBV and they come out for the whole of the summer and easter and october. My parents come for 10 weeks a year. So we are in Disney a lot.

When I came in March it was the first time I said, you know I dont think im that bothered about Disney this trip. I will do MK DAH as I want to do that but I have no real desire to see anything in the other parks. Instead we went to Universal. Dont get me wrong, I have criticised USO a lot and back in 2005 I had an AP and hardly went as I was so bored. But they have upped their game so much, Potter has just changed them not just in terms of revenue but in terms of the staff they attract. USO used to have a lot of the surly staff you saw in regular theme parks but I dont find that as much now.

I am looking forward to GE, although I am not a star wars fan but from what I can tell its just missing that certain magic, maybe its the topic, maybe its the way they have chosen to not recreate a film set but I dont see how its even in the same league as Potter or even Avatar.

Now we are going in October. My nephew who is 18 months will be with us and Disney is still the best for smaller children. We get very good 14 day tickets in the UK, the price of which has been going up quite a bit but there was a crazy offer on expedia with 25% off. The ticket which is 14 days unlimited access to all parks, water parks and photopass is about the same price as a 7 day base ticket.

What doesnt help for UK guests is the exchange rate which has not been great for a while but is particulary bad, add that to the price increase and Orlando is getting very expensive for British guests. The best way to see this is how few British voices you now hear at the outlets compared to mid 2000s when stuff was so cheap it was worth the vacation just for shopping.

I dont mind fastpass plus myself but it doesnt work as well for Brits generally. Being there for 2 weeks and wanting to do other things outside of Disney its difficult to want to plan for that period of time compared to maybe a 4 day vacation where there has to be some planning.

I also feel that Disney is just turning the screw a little, everything feels expensive and a bit like they are screwing us. I havent really felt that before. I want them to make money, I love some of the stuff they have done - Disney springs is fab but its always a fine line.

We used to always go MNSSHP but not at the current prices or current crowds, the big perk was the shorter lines and without those then it offers little benefit for us.

My brother and wife have 3 girls, 5 platinum AP for last 10 years but they have decided to take a year off. They also havent renewed Tables in wonderland. Partly because 2 of the girls are teens and want to do more universal and less Disney and partly because they just cant justify that much money. My parents are moving to weekday only passes with blackouts.

Disney always walks a fine line and I am not unhappy for change, I love so much of what they do but the current pricing will rule out a lot of Brits who will focus on other attractions Orlando has to offer.
 

Willow1213

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 31, 2007
I struggled with this AP renewal (RIGHT after the increase). The only reason we chose to bite the bullet for this year was because of Galaxys Edge. After this we will be taking a break. We also spend significantly less in the parks on a daily basis. I pack snacks, we bring back our popcorn buckets on multiple day trips (sorry Mickey), and eat only one QS meal in the park. I would say my max spend on a Disney day is $30-40 at WDW. We do tend to book one night hotel via Priceline super last minute once every 3-4 months. I can usually get a value or moderate for what I consider reasonable. And for some reason I’ve never been charged Disney’s parking fee.

I’m done with APs after this year. 2018 was my last week long trip. There’s a chance we’re moving out of state later this year which means no more day trips. We’ve hit the breaking point for our family.

For price comparison my husband and I just finished a 7 day, 6 night Caribbean cruise on a high end line including excursions, drink package, etc for less than the cost of our 3 APs for 2020. Let that sink in.
 
  • mick1229

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2011
    A big issue with the constant price increases and continual decrease of Customer Service, is the Disney than holds itself to an impossible standard to uphold... years ago if something wasn’t right with your reservations ,or an unforeseen issue occurred at the Park, most people would chalk it up to “Things Happen” and get on with your day... now I think people lose their minds the second something goes wrong, because of the contributing factors of Cost/Crowds/and decline in Customer Services.. I’m sure this begets a “One and Done” experience from a lot of Guests .. but maybe that’s what the want now
     

    teruterubouzu

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 8, 2007
    So few people seem to comprehend this. It's basic math. An employer can't suddenly pay employees more out of thin air.
    Well, it is not as though it is a small business struggling to stay afloat. The parks have made the corporation a lot of money and if the percentage of profit is slightly less they could surely absorb it, but they won’t because corporations are increasingly greedy. I’m not going to feel sorry for them that they have to pay employees something approaching a living wage.
     

    KyleAfterAWhile

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 12, 2017
    As we are DVC owners now, we will still go, but we are giving Disney less of our money. We eat in our villa, enjoy the pool. And we will be visiting offsite attractions soon.
    Same for us. But, after our next trip, which is in November, we are selling our DVC. The room is affordable because of DVC, but Iger's greed has made us rethink Disney and the value it really is. We can take 2 vacations for what it costs to go to Disney. Tickets are insane. Food is insane. Parties are over-priced. There are always cutbacks. Pay more for less. The new rules for grocery delivery and the way they are treating people like Dizzy Dolphin is ridiculous. We are literally being nickel and dimed at every turn. CMs are disgruntled too. Maybe not all of them, but the overall experience and feel are different.
     

    wickersham

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 18, 2009
    Enjoyed the recent show discussion about the attendance slump. Barriers for me are the super-high costs of on-site resorts, ticket prices and the need to plan fast passes and ride times so many months in advance. I love trip planning, but I also like the flexibility to be spontaneous and find FastPass+ limiting, just my opinion. If I designed the system, fast pass windows would begin at 9 or 10am once more people are in the park.

    Our family of 5 had many happy WDW vacations when our girls were younger. DL is easier to navigate and I prefer the fast pass system there, even paying for Fast Pass Max. It's also easier to stay in an affordable, off-site hotel and walk to the park. Every few months I plan and cost out a WDW trip we do not take in favor of something else wonderful and less expensive. Makes me sad.

    Waiting until the 50th anniversary may be a factor for Dis Boards fans and those in the know, but the average person has no idea. I love the podcast and look forward to it every week. Thanks for the best Disney show ever, nothing else comes close!
     
  • YesterDark

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2017
    I think this sums it up really well. Expecting *some* planning I don't think is crazy - 99% of major vacations for most people require some planning. But as you say, when it feels like work just to have a decent time (or at least people have the impression you have to do all this craziness to get in even some of what you want - it is, of course, possible to have a good time with little planning if you have the right expectations) and that work is getting harder to get in all you want and costs go up, etc.

    (And I say this as someone who gets super stress out whenever we go anywhere and I don't have a spreadsheet laying out our plans)
    What's the work involved? It's only work if you think you have to plan every minute and you get paranoid that you're missing something so you plan some more. I know that feeling, but you have to relax when you "plan".

    If you're the type of person who wants to just show up and have fun... that's just not how WDW works.

    I want someone to explain to me how it "feels like work".
     

    disneysteve

    DIS meet junkie
    Joined
    Sep 29, 2002
    If you're the type of person who wants to just show up and have fun... that's just not how WDW works.
    It works that way just fine for us. We don't make ADRs. We don't make FPs in advance. We've booked our trips as little as 4-6 weeks before our arrival and we were just fine.

    I want someone to explain to me how it "feels like work".
    However, to answer this, if I have to be up at a certain time on a certain day to even try to get an ADR for a certain restaurant or a FP for a certain ride, that's way too much work.
     

    TheMaxRebo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2008
    What's the work involved? It's only work if you think you have to plan every minute and you get paranoid that you're missing something so you plan some more. I know that feeling, but you have to relax when you "plan".

    If you're the type of person who wants to just show up and have fun... that's just not how WDW works.

    I want someone to explain to me how it "feels like work".
    I generally love planning and looking up new places to eat and new attractions and seeing how we can make it all fit, etc. But at times it gets tiring - if you are staying off site getting up early to look for ADRs and FPs multiple days in a row, checking often for any cancellations as I can never get everyone I want 180/30 days out, having Disney change park hours weeks out and my pre-park opening ADRs no longer is, things like that can take the fun out of it

    And I don't plan out every minute, not even close to that. But I do ask my family members what are the one or two things they really want to do and then do my best to secure those things - the rest we play by ear. We go once a year at most and want to get in as much as we can of our "must dos" and it isn't always fun when what you want isn't available even when up and online at 6am -when on like day 7 in a row of that it can start feeling like work
     

    CampbellzSoup

    Son. Husband. Father.
    Joined
    Oct 4, 2014
    I also want to know what insensitive do you have to stay in Disney property? Honestly is the extra magic hours worth getting gauged out in comparison to off site locations? We get some awesome quality hotels offset with our rental car which is still a significant discount plus the off site hotel has free parking and breakfast ...I’m just not seeing it but more power to those who love staying there.
     
  • rteetz

    Rumors and News Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2013
    I also want to know what insensitive do you have to stay in Disney property? Honestly is the extra magic hours worth getting gauged out in comparison to off site locations? We get some awesome quality hotels offset with our rental car which is still a significant discount plus the off site hotel has free parking and breakfast ...I’m just not seeing it but more power to those who love staying there.
    I can't really rent a car yet so its magical express that is the biggest thing for me. I could Uber or whatever but transportation for me is just better on property.
     

    CampbellzSoup

    Son. Husband. Father.
    Joined
    Oct 4, 2014
    I can't really rent a car yet so its magical express that is the biggest thing for me. I could Uber or whatever but transportation for me is just better on property.
    Ryan once the gods of old age descend upon you will you be staying on site or look at other options, honest question.
     

    nycdisneygal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2010
    Not renewing our AP after 2 good runs....

    Fewer extra magic hours (and more thatt cost money!), hard ticket parties are crowded and not enjoyable, so many thing we learned to love have been given the ax (entertainers, PUSH the trash can etc). The resort price (and the cuts there -- they dont even give lotion anymore!). And honestly the dining prices and I come from NYC....
    And having to do all the planning so far in advance-- i am over it after 13 years.
    Universal was much more enjoyable...
    And not Disney's fault but flight prices are really high. I need to go to europe instead.
     
    Last edited:

    Jimmy Mouse

    My other car is the Monorail
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2017
    These price increases have made me and my wife start looking into more affordable vacations. Our girls are getting older and by next year both will be tall enough to ride the big coasters and rides at Universal and Sea World so there are a few options right there. Our AP renewal cost me over $4k … what can I purchase for $4k?? I did a little research. We can stay on the beach 2-3 times a year for $4k easily. We can stay Club Level at Universal for 8 days / 9 nights and have express passes and admission to all 3 parks. Now if I add how much the rooms cost us for each WDW vacation then a 14 day trip to London is less money with air fare and a nice family suite at a nice hotel. The $4k for our AP's is just admission so I still have to pay for a room at WDW. I have looked into DVC but it's just too expensive for what you get. 11 month planning to get into your home resort is ridiculous! Plus Disney allows people to "walk" their reservation making availability for peak times harder to grab. Just tonight I looked at Hilton Vacation Club and for 30-40% less than DVC I can stay in Orlando, the beach , Hawaii (4 different islands) and many destinations around the world. I do have 3 vacations planned before our AP's expire but with all the upcharge events that make regular park days shorter, all the cutbacks with taking so much away like parades, dance parties, the Muppet history show, Getting rid of actual photographers for automated photo boxes, $4 water etc. …. the list can go forever. Have you seen how much a freakin Churro is now? We have decided to see the world, not "The World" more and have agreed to not renew. This doesn't mean we wont go to WDW it just means we will go less and go to other places more.
     

    TresGriffin

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 12, 2018
    I also want to know what insensitive do you have to stay in Disney property? Honestly is the extra magic hours worth getting gauged out in comparison to off site locations? We get some awesome quality hotels offset with our rental car which is still a significant discount plus the off site hotel has free parking and breakfast ...I’m just not seeing it but more power to those who love staying there.
    And that’s the thing for me I’m trying to sort out. Staying on property to me is most ideal when you fly in, with Magical Express and on-site transportation included in the cost, it cuts out the need to rent a car and what not. Extra Magic Hours are also nice, if you choose to use them, even though I’m more likely to partake in nighttime EMHs instead of the morning ones.

    However, I live in Atlanta which is only like a 7-hour drive away (with a quick stop or two) which isn’t horrible. And in that case, since I’ll have a car and can just park at the parks lots at no charge with my AP, staying offsite actually makes more sense, since it saves you quite a bit of money.

    As a matter of fact, I’ll be driving down in a few weeks for a quick 2-night weekend. My friend and I are splitting a room at SpringHill Suites in LBV for only like $109 a night.
     

    rteetz

    Rumors and News Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2013
    Ryan once the gods of old age descend upon you will you be staying on site or look at other options, honest question.
    I’ll give off-site options more of a look for sure. I do really enjoy the on-site options as well tho. While there is some lack of character I do really like the new value rooms at Pop and the All Stars. Moderates have been upgraded as well. Staying at Caribbean Beach for the first time in November. Deluxe is out of my price range for the most part unless I’m sharing a room.
     

    TheMaxRebo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2008
    I also want to know what insensitive do you have to stay in Disney property? Honestly is the extra magic hours worth getting gauged out in comparison to off site locations? We get some awesome quality hotels offset with our rental car which is still a significant discount plus the off site hotel has free parking and breakfast ...I’m just not seeing it but more power to those who love staying there.
    While we are staying on property next trip it is the exception for us. We generally stay offsite ... Especially with having 5 of us we don't fit in a value room so gets pricey quick vs staying off property in a 2 or 3 bedroom condo for less $/night than a value room

    We also usually drive down from NY so have a car (just cheaper than the cost of 5 plane tickets).

    Definitely benefits to staying on site (ME if you fly, EMH, 60+ days for FPs, etc. ... Also can be quickly/easier for taking midday breaks), but I think you really can enjoy a Disney vacation even if staying off property. And now with Uber and Lyft that even helps out with not having to drive if you are enjoying adult beverages
     

    YesterDark

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2017
    It works that way just fine for us. We don't make ADRs. We don't make FPs in advance. We've booked our trips as little as 4-6 weeks before our arrival and we were just fine.


    However, to answer this, if I have to be up at a certain time on a certain day to even try to get an ADR for a certain restaurant or a FP for a certain ride, that's way too much work.
    That's great you can just show up and have fun. That's not normal though. You're also a Disney veteran and you know what to expect. Because of that your expectations are easily met.

    As for "too much work" spending 10-15 minutes setting up reservations isn't a lot of work. It's just awareness. Very popular restaurants in cities around the world require reservations far in advance, it's not like WDW is unique in that fact.

    Is it work? No. But it's really annoying. I have a tentative trip planned in March. I really don't feel like worrying about ADRs in a few weeks. But I'll log in before work and set them up.
     

    YesterDark

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2017
    I generally love planning and looking up new places to eat and new attractions and seeing how we can make it all fit, etc. But at times it gets tiring - if you are staying off site getting up early to look for ADRs and FPs multiple days in a row, checking often for any cancellations as I can never get everyone I want 180/30 days out, having Disney change park hours weeks out and my pre-park opening ADRs no longer is, things like that can take the fun out of it

    And I don't plan out every minute, not even close to that. But I do ask my family members what are the one or two things they really want to do and then do my best to secure those things - the rest we play by ear. We go once a year at most and want to get in as much as we can of our "must dos" and it isn't always fun when what you want isn't available even when up and online at 6am -when on like day 7 in a row of that it can start feeling like work
    There are plenty of websites that text you when a window opens for a restaurant.
     


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